Ya girl’s back.
I missed both challenge 7 and 8 because I’ve been overwhelmed recently, but once I got the challenge email this time around I knew that I couldn’t miss out again.
Challenge 9 is all about the love of reading, and I’m kind of blood sworn into talking about Roald Dahl’s Matilda any time I talk about why I love to read.
Matilda was first published in 1988, making it 9 years older than me, and the film adaptation even predates me, coming out in August of 1996. (I was born the May after that, though. I’m not too much younger.)
By 4 I was reading all of the time, and literally anything. But because I spent 99.9% of my time reading, I wasn’t getting along well with kids my age, and I got teased for always having a book on hand. When I was about the same age that Matilda is in the book, I mentioned being embarrassed about wanting to read so much to my kindergarten teacher, and she gave me a copy of Matilda. She was very much a Miss Honey-esque figure in my life.
I read that copy of Matilda over ten times. I was in love with it, and I (embarrassingly) spent way more time than I would like to admit trying to move objects with my mind.
And then I saw the movie, and it was really all over. I (again, embarrassingly, I’m admitting a lot to you right now) watched pretty much only our DVD copies of Matilda and My Big Fat Greek Wedding for years. I don’t think I came out of that phase until I turned 10.
But Matilda did more than cater to my weird childhood movie tastes. It made me feel like I wasn’t so out of place in the world, and that if there was a whole book and movie dedicated to someone like me, there couldn’t be something wrong about loving to read so much. Both the book and the movie are probably what fostered my love for surrealism and magical realism now, too. The movie was also one of the first I had seen that had another geeky little black girl with twists and glasses, and even if Lavender wasn’t the main star, she gave me hope that someday there would be more girls like me in books and in movies, and now there are. (Go read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, btw).
I kept on being a bookworm because of Matilda, and to this day it remains one of my favorite books (and movies).
If you know a young bookworm, encourage them to keep reading. If you can, show them books from all different types of genres, from all types of authors. I’m too old now to see my current self in Matilda’s shoes, but I know that I could be a mentor to someone like her (and like a younger me) now. I can’t be Matilda, but I can be Miss Honey. And so can you.
And, of course, I wouldn’t be talking about any of this if it wasn’t for Carrie Ann and Broody! Check out Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me on GoodReads and preorder it on Amazon for some amazing swag! I’m talking bookmarks, I’m talking stickers, I’m talking fantastic (exclusively broody) art by Linnea Gear, who is behind all of the official Broody + Blondie art you’ve probably seen floating around! For a full showing of all the preorder prizes, check out this post on Carrie Ann’s website.
Thanks for joining me on this (weirdly introspective) journey! Check back soon for new reviews and maybe a few other surprises thrown in.